Saturday, May 4, 2013

Americans choose civil liberties over stricter security laws

No Patriot Act II: Americans choose civil liberties over security laws | Harry J Enten | Comment is free |

May 3, 2013 - "Terrorist attacks offer lawmakers an ability to react. After 9/11, the American government decided to go to war in Afghanistan and to enact new laws ... The Patriot Act, for instance.... So, has the Boston bombing opened up an avenue for lawmakers to pursue controversial new anti-terrorism measures that may limit civil liberties?

"Almost certainly not. The latest CNN/Time/ORC poll finds that 49% of Americans are not willing to give up civil liberties in order [to] curb terrorism, while only 40% are. In fact, 61% of Americans are more fearful that the government will overreact to the Boston bombing, compared to 31% who are worried that the government won't act strongly enough.

"Other polls confirm these findings. Just after the attacks, Fox News found that 43% of Americans were willing to give up 'some personal freedom' to reduce the threat of an attack, while 45% were not. A Washington Post poll, from before the bombers were caught, reported that only 41% of Americans were most worried that the government wouldn't go far enough because of constitutional concerns. Almost half of Americans, 48%, were worried the government would go too far and compromise constitutional rights."

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